THE church where the Atlanta shootings suspect worshipped has condemned the murders he is accused of as “wicked”.Robert Aaron Long is accused of killing eight peopleCredit: Crisp County Sheriff's Office Crabtree First Baptist Church has condemned the killingsCredit: Google
The reportedly "God and gun-loving" son of a pastor is said to have been “big into religion” and fascinated by weapons.
In a statement, Crabtree First Baptist Church called the shooting “a total repudiation of our faith and practice”.
“We believe in a Holy and Righteous God who abhors evil and will judge all sin in perfect justice,” the statement said.
“We have been in complete cooperation with law enforcement, and we pray for justice to be done. We pray for both earthly justice and divine justice,” the statement said.
“We were absolutely devastated at this senseless loss of life and callous disregard for human beings created in the image of God.”
It is not yet clear if it was a racially motivated crime, but cops probing the shootings have said Long claims they were a "temptation that he wanted to eliminate".The first shootings happened as this spaCredit: AP Cops have said Long may have had sex addition issuesCredit: AP
Investigators have said Long may have had a potential "sexual addiction" issues.
This has been condemned by the son of one of the victims, who insists the killings were an anti-Asian hate crime.
In its statement, the church stressed that “no blame can be placed upon the victims”
“The women that he solicited for sexual acts are not responsible for his perverse sexual desires nor do they bear any blame in these murders.
“These actions are the result of a sinful heart and depraved mind for which Aaron is completely responsible.”
The first shooting happened at around 5pm at the Youngs Asian Massage Parlor off Bells Ferry Road and Highway 92 in Acworth, Georgia.
Two people died at the scene. A further three were transported to hospital, were another two succumbed to their injuries.
The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that the four victims who died at that location were: Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33, Paul Andre Michels, 54, Xiaojie Yan, 49 and Daoyou Feng, 44.
Less than an hour later, police responded to a call off a "robbery in progress" at Gold Spa, in northeast Atlanta, where three women were shot dead.
The gunman then headed to another spa situated just across the street, the Aromatherapy Spa, where officers found another woman deceased.
Four other victims were named as Soon C. Park, 74, Hyun J. Grant, 51, Suncha Kim, 69, and Yong A. Yue, 63.